The holiday season is a time for family, friends, good times and of course, holiday shopping. But getting everybody what they want can get pricey. Get crafty this Christmas and make personalized presents for everyone on your holiday shopping list! We’ve picked out some of our favorite tutorials for you to try this season.
For the animal lover on your list:
Ingredients (Makes about 5 dozen):
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more for brushing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt; set aside
- Place oil in a large bowl. Add stock and flour mixture in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with stock. Mix well.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about 3/8-inch thick. Shape biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife. (Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog’s size.)
- If desired, you can spell out your dog’s name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet the toothpick first so it won’t stick).
- Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake biscuits 10 minutes. Brush with stock; rotate baking sheets, and bake 10 minutes more. Turn off oven, leaving door closed. Let dog biscuits stand in oven to dry completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Wrap as a gift, or store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Gifts for the Glamour Girl:
- mini jar pendants (Hobby Lobby sells 2 packs)
- chain or string
- super glue
- Fill jars with glitter in any variety or pattern you’d like! It helps if you use a small square of paper, folded in half, to create a mini funnel for easy pouring.
- To keep the cork from popping off, apply a small amount of super glue before popping it in place
- Voila! You’ve got a little jar of fairy dust.
Create your own spa style gifts!
One of our favorite beauty gifts comes from Love Grows Wild and gives you step by step instructions on how to make your own Mint Sugar Scrub. This project only takes 5 minutes of prep and 5 minutes to complete which makes it even better! Plus it is an inexpensive gift to make.
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1½ – 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
- 1 drop green food coloring
- Place coconut oil in a bowl and microwave on HIGH 15-25 seconds until softened.
- Start by adding 1½ cups sugar to the oil, along with the peppermint extract and green food coloring. Mix until ingredients are well combined and food coloring is evenly distributed. If mixture is too wet, add another ½ cup sugar until scrub is to desired consistency.
- Spoon scrub into air-tight containers (such as a mason jar) and decorate with twine or ribbon.
Gifts for the Book Worm:
Hi Sugar Plum has a clever tutorial for creating animal bookends that adult and children alike will love! You might be able to do it with items you already have in your house and can do it pretty cheap if you don’t.
- Plastic Animals
- Stones (or wood blocks for the base)
- Spray Paint
- Super Glue
- Spray each animal with a few light coats of spray paint and let them dry.
- Be sure to use spray paint ouside and on an old sheet, or trash bags so you don’t cover the ground in your spray paint. Make sure the area is well ventilated so you don’t breathe in the fumes.
- If you would like, you can spray paint the base of your book end to match the animal. It’s up to you!
- Once your animals dry, put a dot of super glue at the bottom of each animal foot.
- Then, stick your animal to the rock or wood block! Voila!
Give a gift that helps their library!
Martha Stewart has a straightforward tutorial to help you make homemade bookplates that any book lover will want to have in their library!
- Bookplate template (you can download it online)
- 67-pound paper stock, in a white, cream, or neutral tone
- Acid-free glue stick
- Download the template, and print using a color printer. Cut around the red dotted line.
- In the appropriate space, handwrite your name. Allow ink to dry.
- Use an acid-free glue stick (or acid-free double-sided tape) on the back of the bookplate; then carefully smooth it onto the right side of the book’s endpaper. Or box a stack of blank bookplates and gift-wrap them for a friend.
DIY Gifts for the Coffee Lover:
This time of year, brands are breaking out their own Holiday blends of coffee beans. Why not make your own special batch for friends and family! Cook the Story has a delicious tutorial for creating your own homemade Christmas coffee!
- 4 cups dark roasted ground coffee
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 80 whole allspice berries
- 40 whole cloves
- 20 whole black peppercorns
- Pour the ground coffee into a large jar or container that has a tight-fitting lid.
- Into a mortar, break up the cinnamon sticks a bit using your fingers. Add the remaining ingredients and then use a pestle to gently crush everything up. You want the cinnamon sticks to still be in chunky pieces and most of the other spices to be less-than-whole but not powdery. (Be careful not to crush too forcefully as the little allspice berries like to come jumping out of the bowl and onto the floor, which is annoying if you don’t notice them there and then find them stuck to your feet later on).
- Add the crushed up spices to the coffee in the jar. Put the lid on and shake it all up.
Make drinking coffee fun!
What You Need:
- Porcelain mug
- Painter’s tape
- Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Chalkboard Paint (Don’t use regular chalkboard paint. This only works with porcelain paint.)
- Soft bristle paint brush (a watercolor brush works well)
- Make sure your mug is clean and dry.
- Use painter’s tape to mask off the part of the mug you don’t want to paint, 0r you could skip this step and paint the whole mug. Personally, I think it looks snazzy only partially painted. Apply the paint with a soft bristle brush. If you mess up just wipe the paint away with a wet paper towel and try again. Please note that this particular porcelain paint says it’s not recommended for surfaces that come in contact with food. (Although it’s water based and nontoxic, so I don’t understand what the problem would be.)
- As soon as you are done painting carefully remove the tape. If you remove it before the paint dries, the tape will be less likely to peel up the edges of the paint.
- Let the paint dry for 24 hours. Then, bake your mug for 35 minutes at 300 F.* After baking turn off the oven and leave the mug inside until it has gradually cooled to room temperature. After you bake it the paint is dishwasher and microwave safe.
There you have it! Get creative this holiday season with this fun and easy DIY gifts for the holidays. They are more personal than picking something up at the big box stores. Try these out and see what you think! Stay tuned to the blog for more holiday content and features on all things Houston.